Rockland rescuers are honored
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Rockland rescuers are honored

Six local volunteers with Chaverim of Rockland were recognized for their efforts in the search for Rabbi Reuven Bauman, who went missing off the Virginia coast in July after helping a 13-year-old camper who’d been caught in a riptide. Rockland County Legislator Aron Wieder, who led the program, was joined by legislators Toney L. Earl, Itamar Yeger, Phil Soskin, and Alden Wolfe. Moshe Herzog, Shlomo Morris, Josef Margaretten, Yedidya Blau, Yitzy Stern, and Mordechai Grinberger, the honorees, were presented with a Distinguished Service award, the legislature’s highest honor.

Rabbi Bauman, 35, was a father of five from Norfolk, Va. He had relatives in Rockland who knew of Chaverim’s work and requested the organization’s help. The six Chaverim volunteers responded immediately, and by the following day, July 10, they were on location with boats and drones, searching the ocean. Hundreds of people helped; Rabbi Bauman’s body was retrieved by another group, allowing him a proper burial.

“This is the kind of work Chaverim does,” Mr. Wieder said. “It is extremely difficult, but it makes a difference. In this case, it certainly made a difference to Rabbi Bauman’s family. Among the various volunteer organizations operating in Rockland County, we are fortunate to have Chaverim, who serve in the name and for the benefit of others, and on a daily basis, they make a positive difference for the community.”

For their role in the recovery effort, the following Chaverim volunteers were honored by the Legislature: Moshe Herzog, Shlomo Morris, Josef Margaretten, Yedidya Blau, Yitzy Stern, and Mordechai Grinberger.

Closer to home, Chaverim volunteers responded this summer to search for Rabbi David Traub, 38, of Chestnut Ridge, who went missing in Greenwood Lake on August 18 after rescuing two of his children from the lake. The body of Rabbi Traub, a husband and father, and the head of the school and synagogue at Bais Medrosh Elyon in Monsey, was recovered the next day.

More than 150 trained volunteers work with Chaverim of Rockland, which responds to more than 20,000 non-medical calls each year. Since its founding in 1999, more than 30 Chaverim branches have been established, following the organization’s system of volunteer-based emergency response. Volunteers also respond to weather emergencies, provide neighborhood security, help verified people who’ve locked themselves out of their homes get back inside, assist elderly and disabled people so they can better maneuver around their homes and community, and provide aid and comfort to families and individuals when a crisis or tragedy occurs.

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